IPL 2023: Punjab Kings could release Mayank Agarwal, Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith


Chandigarh, November 15

Punjab Kings could be releasing the trio of batter Mayank Agarwal, Shahrukh Khan and Odean Smith for the upcoming 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), reported ESPNCricinfo on Tuesday.

PBKS are motivated to go into the auction with a large sum of money in their purse. Releasing these three players will add 27 crore rupees to their purse.

Agarwal was retained by Punjab ahead of mega auction last year at INR 12 crore (USD 1.6m approx.). In the auction, Shahrukh was bought for INR nine crore ($1.2 m approx.) while INR six crore were shelled out for buying West Indies bowling all-rounder Smith.

The clear motive is to go into the auction with a bulky purse. If all three are released, then they add a further 27 crore to their purse. Agarwal was the first player Punjab retained ahead of the mega auction last year at INR 12 crore (USD 1.6m approx.). Shahrukh was bought for INR 9 crore ($1.2 m approx.) and West Indies bowling allrounder Smith for INR 6 crore ($800,000).

But the trio underperformed in last season. Agarwal, who was the mainstay of the side’s top-order from 2019-21 and scored in heaps, could only score 196 runs in 12 innings at an average of 16.33 and a strike rate of 122.50 once he was appointed as the captain in 2022.

But the only thing that could prevent the team from letting Agarwal go is the connect they have with him. But his domestic form also has been weak, with batter failing to score well in the T20 competition Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy (domestic 50-overs tournament).

Punjab could also do the same for Shahrukh. The batter made headlines in 2021 with his power-hitting for Tamil Nadu. Two years back, Punjab Kings picked the player for INR 5.25 crore at the auction. In ten 2021 IPL innings, Shahrukh scored 153 runs at an average of 21.85 and a strike rate of around 134.

Next season, he wanted a higher price from Punjab, who wanted to retain him as an uncapped player. He was brought back in the 2022 auction. In the 2022 season, he played eight matches in which he scored 116 runs at an average of 16.71 at a strike rate of 108.

But a 69-ball ton in invitational match for Tamil Nadu against Bangladesh helped him send franchises a reminder of his potential. It is learnt that the team wants to retain him at a much cheaper price tag and believe that they can buy him in the auction.

PBKS are leaning towards releasing Odean Smith. On his IPL debut, he finished off the chase against RCB with 25* off eight balls, with three sixes. But he could manage only 26 runs in the next five innings. His medium pace was not intimidating enough either as he could only take six scalps in six matches at an expensive economy rate of 11.86.